Here’s a story of two teams that came crashing back down to Earth this week. The Pittsburgh Pirates had the best record in the National League, but three-games in Tampa Bay might have exposed a few of their fatal flaws, namely fielding. The Toronto Blue Jays were punching with the top of the American League, but the Red Sox pounded their starting pitching across a four-game set and exposed that weakness in their roster.
Now, we get to find out which team bounces back better in a three-game set in Pittsburgh. The Pirates turn to their veteran, Rich Hill to steady the ship while the Blue Jays give the ball to Chris Bassitt. Hill is 3-2 with a 4.18 ERA and Bassitt is 3-2 with a 5.18 ERA.
Here are the odds for the Blue Jays and Pirates in Game 1 at PNC Park.
Blue Jays vs. Pirates odds, run line and total
Blue Jays vs. Pirates prediction and pick
Rich Hill is a crafty veteran left-hander, but all of his knowledge of pitching and different arm slots won’t make up for the fact that he just doesn't have good stuff anymore. Hill has allowed seven homers this season, four of them at PNC Park, and the Jays might add to that total. Hill has an expected ERA of 6.18 , an expected slugging percentage of .570 which is fourth percentile in the MLB, and he is 16th percentile in whiff percentage. He’s been able to generate some soft contact, but his fly ball and line drive rates are both above league average.
The Blue Jays have some serious power from the right side in their lineup and that’s very bad news for Hill. Vlad Guerrero Jr. has a .976 OPS against lefties this year, but is yet to hit a homer. To me that just means he’s due. Bo Bichette has a .938 OPS vs. lefties with two homers and Matt Chapman has a 1.460 OPS with two homers against left-handers. That’s the heart of their lineup and they’re going to do damage.
However, the Blue Jays have had serious issues with their starting pitchers this week. In the first three games against Boston all three of their starters allowed five runs. Bassitt gave up four in his last start and he’s 26th percentile in walk rate. The Pirates hitters are 3rd in the league in walks and that will jumpstart their offense. I love the over in this one.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change